Its the time of year when a lot of business to consumer websites see an increase in traffic.
There is always perennial tips to be aware of for your ecommerce website, but this is especially true now that the mobile ecommerce sector is growing at a rapid pace.
And although ecommerce sales from a desktop or tablet computer still makes up the majority of the device of choice for online shoppers, according to the figures from the eCustomerService Index from eDigitalResearch and IMRG, 64% of online shoppers plan to use their mobile device [including tablet devices] to shop this year. When you consider at the start of 2010, IMRG reported sales on mobile devices stood at only 0.4% of online sales this shows rapid growth.
Adobe put the figure of online mobile shopping usage this Christmas at 12% for EU citizens and 14% in the US.
So here are some tips for maximising Mobile Ecommerce sales at any holiday time - yes it is a bit late to make any large change to your website offerings, but there are still things to consider!
People often shop late - and they're shopping for someone else...
As of last year, over 12 million British men had left their present buying until after 17th December. Of those, ten percent waited until Christmas Eve to buy Christmas gifts.
No chance of delivery before Christmas then! But this gives an opportunity for those selling experiences such as Racing Days or Spa Days. These are easily sold right up to the last minute.
Ensure you start early to attract those customers early. As you customers may be buying for someone else, a customer who wouldn't think of buying a Race Day for themselves will often consider purchasing at Christmas because its a gift for a loved one.
Consider selling gift vouchers that are specific to your website and product range. These can easily be sent out same-day or, if too close to Christmas to be posted, sent out in an email confirmation.
Be prepared to meet customers increased expectations...
You may wish to review your returns policy and in the immediate period after the festive season you should consider extending the normal returns period or allow those who received gifts with a valid 'gift receipt' to return them to you rather the original purchaser. If the product is not faulty you can always offer vouchers in the place of actual cash.
Also be ready to warn customers about delayed delivery - especially if there is bad weather. Keeping your customers informed will help to reduce customers having to contact you multiple times for a delivery update.
Final website checks...
Check you website shopping / purchasing process is easy to use, easy to navigate and loads quickly. If you don't have a specific mobile version of your website, check your website can still be used easily on a tablet or mobile device.
You should also check that your About Us page is up to date and there are no mistakes or typos. Also check your telephone and email contacts are obvious. This reassures the user, especially prior to their first purchase from you.
A customer is not just for Christmas...
Don't be tempted to add your special offers all in one go. Add Christmas promotions gradually in the months and weeks leading up to Christmas. There will always be a fresh special offer when users visit.
Don't forget to market to your previous customers - sending out email newsletters and updating your social media profiles with your latest special offers.
Sign up to your competitors email lists, and check the latest offers and promotions on competitors websites. All of this will help you decide if and when you need to adjust your prices or release special offers for maximum effect.
Finally, incentive customers to return after Christmas. Start promoting you post-Christmas sale as soon as possible. Take advantage of those with new devices, gifts that needs additional purchases or those with cash gifts who are ready to spend.
Who knows...your ecommerce website could see a bumper boost in sales this festive period!